Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Conjoined Twin Eng Bunker Drafted During the Civil War

Chang and Eng Bunker
Chang and Eng Bunker
In 1865, conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker were living in North Carolina when Eng was suddenly drafted to fight in the Civil War.

The Thailand natives were living in Traphill, North Carolina as naturalized citizens when the Union army raided the area and drafted some of the locals to join their army, despite the fact that many of them, including the Bunker brothers, were Confederate supporters.

Union General George Stoneman put the names of all men over 18 years of age into a lottery wheel and selected names at random. Eng's name was drawn but Chang's wasn't. Since the conjoined twins could not be separated by surgery because their livers were fused, there wasn't much that Stoneman could do. Neither brother ended up fighting in the war although both of their eldest sons, Christopher Wren Bunker and Stephen Bunker, joined and fought for the Confederacy. Both Christopher and Stephen survived the war but Christopher was captured and spent nearly a year as a prisoner of war at Camp Chase in Ohio in August of 1864.


"Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites"; Clint Johnson; 2011

Smithsonian Magazine; The Civil War: 8 Strange and Obscure Facts You Didn't Know; November 15, 2011: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2011/11/the-civil-war-8-strange-and-obscure-facts-you-didnt-know/

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